Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi paid a visit to Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto while feeling the heat for her rather complicated history of accepting Donald Trump’s money. The Republican nominee recently (and quietly) paid an IRS fine after violating a tax law by donating $25,000 to Bondi’s 2013 reelection campaign. The timing of the incident lined up perfectly with how she solicited a donation before announcing her office’s intent to join the New York fraud investigation against Trump University, but once she received the sum, the digging fell by the wayside. Then Trump threw a lavish, $3,000 per head fundraising event for Bondi at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.
All of this fits Trump’s pattern of purchasing political influence and bragging about doing so: “When I call, they kiss my ass.” He’s also told a GOP debate audience that he uses money to make politicians “do whatever the hell you want them to do.” This includes Bondi, who appeared to be a willing participant in Trump’s shenanigans, but now Bondi’s hitting out at Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee’s campaign claimed something “smells bad” about the Trump-Bondi alliance, and Bondi didn’t appreciate this:
“I will not be collateral damage in a presidential campaign. Nor will I be a woman bullied by Hillary Clinton. This is about her trying to deflect everything she did as secretary of state, and as you know, we’ve sent a retraction notice to newspapers, who’ve printed anything about this. It’s absolutely untrue, and Hillary Clinton will not bully me.”
Cavuto pushed forward and wondered if Bondi was denying accusations of soliciting a donation from Trump, and she stumbled in response before saying, “Of course I asked Donald Trump for a contribution, that’s not what this is about.” Bondi continued, “She was saying he was under investigation by my office at the time, and I knew about it,” and Bondi calls this untrue.
She then took pleasure in poking fun at Clinton for not knowing what the “C” meant in her emails, but Bondi made the same error as Trump by claiming that the letter meant “classified” instead of “confidential.” Regardless of how Bondi is blaming Clinton for — who knows what — the Miami Herald is now calling for an investigation over how Bondi dropped an investigation for Trump cash. The tone of this piece does not mess around:
That the gift was given and received is not in dispute. The transaction took place. After the IRS action, Mr. Trump reimbursed the foundation and paid the $2,500 fine personally, according to a spokesman for the Trump Organization.
The rest remains murky, and, so far, riddled with contractions and misdirection. Originally, for example, the Trump Foundation said it gave the money to another group in Kansas with a similar name to Ms. Bondi’s political group. Then it blamed a clerical error and said it should have come from Mr. Trump’s account, not from his foundation.
More serious are the questions about why the money was given and how it came about.
From there, the paper rips into Bondi for, presumably, expecting to evade scrutiny for engaging in the same pay-for-play tactics for which Hillary Clinton (and the Clinton Foundation) are receiving “blanket coverage.” The Miami Herald concedes that Bondi’s behavior could be completely innocent but that she should get “equal billing” for the same type of “alleged scam” that continually sees Clinton getting raked over the coals.
(Via Miami Herald)